“Prisoners,” directed by Denis Villneuve, is an action-packed thriller that will keep you sweating as you wonder what will happen next. The movie is filled with a star-studded cast, including Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. Jackman plays Keller Dover, a suburban dad rooted in strong faith and a survivalist, ready-for-any type-of situation mentality. Gyllenhaal plays Detective Loki, who is known for his perfect reputation as an agent in the field.
This action-packed thriller is full of plot twists, leaving the viewer clueless to what the next minute will deliver. The intertwined plot is supplemented by the exceptional acting in the movie. Each character delivers a passionate, wholehearted effort in the movie, making the pain they feel real to the audience.
Often times throughout the movie, Jackman becomes the viewer’s protective father and moments later a wild man who cannot be controlled. Jackman’s character evolves through the whole movie more than any other character in the film. The performance he puts on in this film can be described as powerful and frightening. Jackman proves he will do anything to find his child and that is why the audience feels for him through all the trials and tribulations he faces.
Jackman’s uncontrollable rage in the film is unlike anything he has ever done before. Throughout the whole movie, his mind is by the thought that his daughter will not survive and this thought only supplements his unbridled rage.
Detective Loki is in charge of the search for the two missing children. His character is unlike anything Gyllenhaal has done, similar to Jackman, as a detective with a dark side that never is uncovered. Loki is a strong, built man with tattoos on his neck and hands, which give him an edgy and mysterious side. Similar to the parents of the missing children, the tribulations of the case begin to change his character and unveil his darker side as he fights to do whatever he can to uncover the mysteries of the case. The true feeling of family displayed in the film adds to the tension.
Watching each family do whatever is needed to get their child back makes the viewer feel the pain and anguish as each day passes by.
In addition to the in-depth characters, Villneuve creates tense feelings in the audience using the pace and setting of the film. Never once in the movie is the sun shining; Villneuve does this to keep the dark, gloomy feeling alive throughout the whole film. Also, the pace of the film goes from quick scenes to long, drawn out scenes to add tension and suspense throughout key moments of the film.
The movie itself is edgy and thrilling through each scene, not only because of the characters and their performances but also because of the reality of the story itself. The kidnapping and underlying plot twists create a nervous feeling of what a real kidnapping case would be like.
The personal aspect of the film creates an uneasy feeling inside the viewer making them sweat as each heart-pounding moment ticks by, when every second could be the difference between life and death.
Overall, the film receives an “A” grade due to the unexpected nature of the plot and the questions you will be left with following the film. This vigilante thriller places the hero in situations that could turn feelings of the audience in an instant. This film is a must see in the theaters starting this Friday, Sept. 20.